Even experts have to start somewhere.
What's one piece of career advice you wish you'd been given, way back when? We picked the brains of PT bloggers (psychologytoday.com) for the tips they wish they'd received at the very beginning.
Follow the (Right) Leader
"Avoid letting others' expectations overly influence your choices. Parents, friends, and significant others may not fully grasp the career path you envision for yourself. Use someone within your desired field who understands and shares your vision as a model."—David Russell, Ph.D., Distress in Context: How society shapes our moods
Don't Go It Alone
"Seek out mentors and colleagues who will support you on your journey—and learn from them. We each have to forge our own path, but finding a way is easier if we can benefit from others' experiences."—Eileen Kennedy-Moore, Ph.D., Growing Friendships: All about children's social and emotional development
"Ideas don't sell on their own. A bit of personal connection and persuasion is necessary. I wish I was told to focus on what matters in the big picture and not what gets you a handshake in academia."—Todd B. Kashdan, Ph.D., Curious? Discovering and creating a life that matters
"Take the challenging path rather than the easy one. You'll find it more personally rewarding."—Ronald E. Riggio, Ph.D., Cutting-Edge Leadership: The best in current leadership research and theory
Learn to Discern
"Once you're coasting along your career path, resist taking on jobs or assignments just because you're asked to. You'll get much further in life, and you'll never be bored."—Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., Creating in Flow: Insights and advice about all forms of creative expression
Have a Plan B
"Keep your options open. Pursue the career path you want, but have an alternative that also satisfies you. Can't get into a clinical psych program? Volunteer as a phone counselor while earning a living in a different job. Don't give up your passion if you can't make it your career. Down the track, anything can happen."—Jenni Ogden, Ph.D., Trouble in Mind: A neuropsychologist muses on brains, books and being happy.